A game fit for a queen . . . but no joy for Sunny Jim

On Saturday, November 24th the football teams for the University of North Carolina and the University of Maryland will meet for the 70th time.  In light of Maryland’s recent decision to leave the Athletic Coast Conference, however, the two will meet far fewer times in the future.   Of the sixty-nine previous games, thirty-four of them have been played away from Chapel Hill and one of those games stands out from all the others.  It made front-page news as well as sports-page news and is often called “The Queen Game.”  Morton collection volunteer Jack Hilliard takes a look back at that special Carolina–Maryland game.

Queen Elizabeth seated during the UNC Maryland football game, 1957On September 30th, 1957, Buckingham Palace released the itinerary for Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Canada and the United States.  The visit was to include military and diplomatic ceremonies; luncheons, receptions, and dinners; a visit to an art gallery; religious services; and at the queen’s special request, a college football game.  The United States State Department selected the game between the University of Maryland, coached by Tommy Mont, and the University of North Carolina, coached by Jim Tatum.

During the time between this official announcement and the queen’s arrival in Canada on October 12th, an event of epic proportions took place: the Soviet Union launched an artificial earth satellite on October 4th, 1957.  The satellite would become known as Sputnik I, and the space race was on.  The queen’s visit temporarily took a backseat.

Nonetheless, on October 12th Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip’s four-engine DC7C landed at Uplands Air Base in Ottawa at 4:21 PM (EDT), four minutes ahead of schedule on its thirteen and a-half-hour flight from London.  As the doors opened at 4:30 (the scheduled time), a Royal Canadian Air Force band played “God Save the Queen.”  As the 31-year-old queen stepped from the plane, a tremendous cheer went up from the 30,000 gathered for her arrival.  Canada’s Governor General Vincent Massey and Prime Minister and Mrs. John Diefenbaker offered the official welcome.

After four days in Canada, it was off to the United States with a stop at the Jamestown Festival, held near Williamsburg, Virginia to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the founding of the first permanent English colony in America.  The next stop was Washington, D.C. with President and Mrs. Eisenhower welcoming the royal party.

Saturday, October 19, 1957, was a blustery, chilly 54-degree day.  Queen Elizabeth attended a 9:40 AM special reception at the British Embassy, then lunched with President and Mrs. Eisenhower.  Following lunch, it was game time and the queen and prince boarded one of President Eisenhower’s bubble-top Lincolns for the 10-mile, 45-minute ride to Byrd Stadium in College Park, Maryland.

It would be a football event like no other.  Fourteenth-ranked North Carolina would be a two-touchdown favorite, and the game would mark UNC head coach Jim Tatum’s return to the home stadium where he coached for nine years and led Maryland to a national championship in 1953.

There were reports that the game would be televised under the NCAA’s sellout rule, but ACC Commissioner Jim Weaver noted that Maryland had already made its two TV appearances for the year, so the folks back in North Carolina would only get a radio broadcast.

43,000 fans packed Byrd Stadium along with 480 accredited news personnel—which included Hugh Morton, and Life magazine’s Alfred Eisenstaedt, Hank Walker, and Edward Clark.  Also there were Jimmy Jeffries of the Greensboro Record and Don Sturkey of the Charlotte ObserverMorton made several photographs during the festivities.  At one point during the excitement, Morton turned his camera on the other photographers.

Photographers at UNC vs Maryland football game, 1957

Sports photographers on sidelines of during the UNC versus Maryland football game, attended by Queen Elizabeth II. The photographers are most likely photographing the queen. Photographer on right with balding head is LIFE staff photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt.

With 300 security personnel (Scotland Yard and FBI included) in place, at 2:10 PM, 20 motorcycles appeared at the field house end of the stadium followed by the queen and Prince Philip.  The royal party took a lap around the stadium and then took seats in a special box at the 50-yard line on the Carolina side of the field.  Already in place were University of Maryland President Dr. and Mrs. Wilson Elkins, Maryland governor Theodore R. McKeldin and wife Dorothy, British secretary Selwyn Lloyd, UNC president William C. Friday, and North Carolina governor Luther H. Hodges, who was on his way back home from a week of industry seeking in New York.  Mrs. Hodges and son, Luther, Junior had flown up from North Carolina that morning. [Editor’s note: there is some photographic evidence to suggest that Morton may have been part of the governor’s trip to New York City.  We are investigating!]

When the queen and her party were seated, the 420-member University of Maryland band took the field and put on quite a show along with the Maryland card section, which formed the letters “ER.”

Then, it was time for the teams’ co-captains to be introduced: Maryland’s Gene Alderton and Jack Healy, and Carolina’s Buddy Payne and Dave Reed.  Each team presented the queen a special gift—Maryland gave her a game ball and UNC gave her the special coin used to start the game.  Governor Hodges presented her with a miniature statue of Sir Walter Raleigh.

Luther Hodges holding Raleigh statueQueen Elizabeth receives Raleigh statue from HodgesThen it was time for the game.  As the teams lined up for the kickoff, the queen turned to Governor McKeldin and asked, “How many men on a team?”

“Eleven on each side,” he replied.

Late in the first quarter, Tar Heel halfback Daley Goff rushed 11 yards for a touchdown, much to the delight of the estimated 5,000 Tar Heels on hand.  The touchdown set off a celebration that concluded with the Carolina band playing “Dixie,” which brought Governor Hodges to his feet. The 7-0 score remained through the second quarter.

The Carolina band performed at halftime and proclaimed the “North Carolina Parade of Industries,” followed by another rendition of “Dixie.”  The queen joined in the applause, as the sun broke through the clouds. The Maryland card section formed the Union Jack.

At the 4:11 mark of the third quarter, Maryland quarterback Bob Rusevlyan scored on a one-yard sneak tying the score at 7-7.  Then in the fourth quarter, Maryland took the lead on an 81-yard touchdown run by halfback Ted Kershner.  The hometown crowd went wild . . . the Queen managed a smile.  Soon after, Maryland fullback Jim Joyce put the game away with a 13-yard touchdown run making the final score 21 to 7.

Following the game, Coach Mont was congratulated by Coach Tatum at midfield, then got a shoulder ride from his team up to the royal box.  The queen extended her hand and said, “Wonderful, just wonderful.”  Prince Philip added, “Very wonderful.”  Said Coach Mont, “Listen, I’ll revel in this one the rest of my life.”

And a long, long way from all the royal excitement, at the far end of the stadium, North Carolina Head Coach Jim Tatum began the long, slow walk to the locker room, his hands in his pockets, his head bowed.  He never got to meet the Queen.  The headline in the High Point Enterprise on October 20th read: “We Blew It,” Says ‘Not-So-Sunny’ Jim.  Less than two years, on July 23, 1959, Jim Tatum died tragically at the age of 46.  With his death, the hopes of UNC’s big-time football died also.

On Sunday, October 20, 1957, the queen and Prince Philip attended religious services at Washington’s National Cathedral, and on Monday the 21st they arrived in New York by train for a visit to the United Nations and to lunch with New York City mayor Robert Wagner.  On October 22nd, Queen Elizabeth concluded her first trip to the United States as queen and the royal party flew back to London.

Election coverage

David Brinkley covering Nixon/Kennedy election

Copy slide of television coverage of Nixon/Kennedy election, in New York City, NY. NBC News Anchors Chet Huntley (left) and David Brinkley (right) were on the air nonstop for over 12 hours from their NBC News Headquarters at "30 Rock" in downtown Manhattan. Photographer of original image is unknown.

It is Election Day in the United States of America—which also means its election coverage day, too, although there’s no guarantee that will last fewer than twenty-four hours.  As you might expect, there are some historically relevant images in the Hugh Morton collection.  Two undated Ektachrome copy slides of photographs by an unknown photographer(s) depict the NBC newsroom set during coverage of the 1960 election between Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy.  Were these NBC promotional photographs?  This is likely a long shot, but does anyone know who the photographer(s) was?  David Brinkley was a native of Wilmington, N.C, which is likely why Morton made the copy slides for some unknown reason.  Maybe he made them for the “This Is Your Life, David Brinkley” slide presentation on January 7, 1971 mentioned in the book Making a Difference in North Carolina?  Over to you, Chet . . . .

David Brinkley and Chet Huntley on NBC newsroom set during Nixon/Kennedy election coverage

NBC News Anchors Chet Huntley (left) and David Brinkley (right) on the set at NBC News Headquarters during their coverage of the 1960 Nixon/Kennedy election. This image is from a copy slide in the Morton collection, and the photographer of original image is unknown.

An even earlier election-results image likely comes from the 1956 North Carolina gubernatorial campaign.  Two WUNC television cameras train their lenses on Luther Hodges.  The blackboards make an interesting comparison to the high-tech graphics we will be viewing this evening!  Does anyone recognize the location?

1956 North Carolina Election Results

WUNC-TV cameras focus on Luther H. Hodges standing before blackboards with various electoral results recorded on them, probably in the 1956 state elections. Standing on the left is Jim Reid, WPTF Radio announcer and sports broadcaster. On the right is former WPTF Radio broadcaster and UNC Professor Wesley Wallace.

And on a concluding note . . . if you haven’t already . . .

Vote today automobile

Cropped view of an automobile with "Junior Chamber of Commerce, Vote Today!" banner and megaphone on Princess Street, Wilmington, N. C. street. The license plate date is 1948, and the Odd Fellows Building is in the background. Click on the image to see the scene without cropping.

Photographic Angles: exhibit of news photographs from the North Carolina Collection

Photographic Angles Exhibit and Hutchins Lecture announcement

"Photographic Angles" Exhibit and Hutchins Lecture announcement. (Click image more information)

Hugh Morton’s news photography makes a two appearances in “Photographic Angles: News Photography in the North Carolina Collection,” the exhibit currently installed in the North Carolina Collection Gallery.  We had a “soft” opening earlier this month to accommodate a couple of events in the area, but Thursday, November 1st is the celebratory opening for the exhibition.

I’ve been researching the news-photography-related collections the past several months looking for images to include in the exhibit, which is why I have been a little quieter than usual here.  Two Morton photographs are part of the exhibit.  One is the scene of Julian Scheer walking through debris-filled flood waters during Hurricane Hazel in 1954, which we are using for publicity handouts and webpages.  I picked this image for our announcements way before Hurricane Sandy her presence known!  The other is Morton’s amazing capture of a caber toss with Grandfather Mountain perfectly in the background during the first Grandfather Mountain Highland games in 1956. (Don’t forget to look at the feet of the tosser and referee!)

The 5:00 gallery opening will be followed at 5:30 by the James A. Hutchins Lecture sponsored by the Center for the Study of the American South.  The speaker will be Jim Wallace (UNC ’64), who, like Hugh Morton, was a student photographer for The Daily Tar Heel.  During his time working for the newspaper, Wallace photographed events and activities that formed part of the “civil rights struggle” as those involved called their efforts for equal accommodations.  His photographs from this important era are represented in a book published earlier this year, Courage in the Moment: The Civil Rights Struggle, 1961-1964.

Wallace’s lecture will be prefaced by an introductory presentation by Associate Professor Patrick Davison, UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication, on the current and future state of photojournalism. The theme for their talks will be, “That we may know by our eyes.”

Now that Charlotte is in the distance

Charlotte from Grandfather Mountain

Hugh Morton's favorite photograph of Charlotte, as seen from near the Mile High Swinging Bridge on Grandfather Mountain approximately 87 air miles away. Morton made the photograph in mid-December after a cold front had cleared the air, providing some very rare visibility.

Last week, the city of Charlotte was the “front and center” of the American political scene as it hosted the 2012 Democratic National Convention.  As the event approached, I had the natural inclination to turn to Hugh Morton’s coverage of past Democratic conventions for a timely blog post . . . but quickly remembered that we had already done that shortly after the party selected Charlotte.

If you find yourself wanting more Democratic convention politics now that the show has left town, you may want to revisit previous posts on the topic here at A View to Hugh.  For starters, try Rob Christensen’s essay “Hugh Morton Among the Movers and Shakers” for an overview of Hugh Morton’s role in North Carolina’s political scene.  Then choose from any or all of these offerings related to the Democratic National Convention:

Hugh Morton’s first daily newspaper assignment

The previous post on A View to Hugh features a Hugh Morton photograph of Grandfather Mountain, published without credit on the cover of the 8 March 1941 issue of The State.  As the blog post revealed, I suspect the photograph dates from 1940 or earlier, which is relatively early in Morton’s career as a photographer.  January of that year saw Morton beginning his second semester as a freshman at UNC.  His camera had been stolen shortly after arriving on campus in the autumn of 1939, and it was not until sometime around January or February 1940 that he bought his next camera.  So, I wondered, “How early in his career would that have been?”  Today’s exploration unravels an uncertainty and mystery that I didn’t even have until two days ago.

This is an important photograph in Morton’s career.  At the time he made it, Morton was a UNC student with a summertime job as the photography counselor at Camp Yonahnoka.  Here’s one of his accounts about the photograph, quoted from the preface of his 2003 book Hugh Morton’s North Carolina:

In 1940, at nearby Linville, a fourteen-year-old kid from Tarboro named Harvie Ward embarrassed a lot of adults by winning the prestigious Linville Men’s Golf Tournament.  Burke Davis, sports editor of the Charlotte News, contacted the Linville Club for a photograph of Harvie Ward, and I was called to come up from camp to carry out what was my first photo assignment for a daily newspaper.  Davis liked my Harvie Ward pictures, and this led to many photo assignments for the Charlotte News during my college years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Because this assignment helped launch Hugh Morton’s career as a news photographer, and the early view of Grandfather Mountain was also likely made in 1940, I wanted to know when the Charlotte News published the Ward photograph(s) (two negatives are extant in the Morton collection) relative to publication of the early Grandfather Mountain view in The State.  I searched the Web for information on the Linville golf tournament and Harvie Ward for 1940, but only found a few bits and pieces—and nothing that said when they played the tournament.  So . . . off to the microfilm room.

I scanned through issues of the Charlotte News, Tarboro’s Daily Southerner, and Rocky Mount’s Evening Telegram published during the “golf-able” summer months through mid September, by which time Morton would have returned to Chapel Hill from Camp Yonahnoka and Ward would have already returned to Tarboro in time for their classes.  Nothing . . . at least not that mentioned Harvie Ward winning the tournament in 1940.

I turned next to Morton’s booklet, Sixty Years with a Camera published in 1996, which I recalled also included the portrait of Ward.  As The Jetsons cartoon dog Astro would say, “Ruh Roh . . . .”

The first picture I took on assignment for a newspaper (the Charlotte News) was of Harvie Ward when he won the 1941 Linville Men’s Golf Tournament.  This was a very competitive event, and it was a surprise to everybody that a 15-year-old kid from Tarboro would win it.

Two different statements of fact.  What to do?  Well, I turned to a different newspaper, the Charlotte Observer and here’s what I found: Harvie Ward didn’t win the Linville Men’s Invitational Tournament in 1939, 1940, 1941, nor 1942.  (I didn’t go further, because Morton was in the army in 1943).  A detailed listing of the entrants in the Charlotte Observer revealed that Ward didn’t enter the 1940 tournament; he did, however, defeat Ed Gravell of Roaring Gap to win the “second flight” of the 1941 tournament.  I also found a congratulatory paragraph in the Daily Southerner on August 4, 1941 “for taking first place in second flight in Linville invitational golf tournament.  Harvie is having great time knocking off the little fellows.”  [For golf historians, Sam Perry emerged victorious in 1939, Charles Dudley won the championship flight in 1940, Hub Covington won the 1941 tournament, and Billy Ireland won the event in 1942.]

To be thorough, I searched for both years (1940 and 1941) through mid September.   There are no photographs of Ward in the Charlotte News.  I now even wonder if the newspaper ever published one of these portraits of Ward by Morton.

So in all likelihood, Hugh Morton had it right the first time in the 1996 booklet: the Harvie Ward, Jr. photographs probably date from 1941.  And here’s some supporting evidence: photographs began appearing in the Charlotte News sports section’s “Pigskin Review” articles with the credit line “News Photos by Hugh Morton” in mid September 1941, which is in agreement with Morton’s statement that the Ward pictures “led to many assignments.”  Morton photographed members of the 1941 football teams of UNC (published September 12th), Duke, (September 13th), NC State (September 15th), and Wake Forest (September 24th), plus two photographs made during and after UNC’s season opener on September 20th against Lenor-Rhyne that featured UNC’s standout running back Hugh Cox.  By comparison, there are no photographs in the newspaper credited to Morton in late summer or early autumn of 1940.

My conclusion? So far, the earliest Morton photograph that I’ve discovered to be published in a non-UNC publication is the early view of Grandfather Mountain.  Now, please tell me why I believe the story probably doesn’t end there?!

An early Morton view of Grandfather Mountain

The State, 8 March 1941, cover

It’s been quiet at A View to Hugh of late, as research for a news photography exhibit opening October 6th has become my primary focus the past several weeks.  There will most definitely be Morton photographs in that exhibit, but I’ve been digging into the 1920s and early 1930s which mostly predates Morton.  One item of interest for the exhibit that overlaps with Hugh Morton’s career, however, is The State, a weekly magazine launched by Carl Goersch on 3 June 1933.  Jack Hilliard and I will be writing about The State next year on the magazine’s 80th anniversary, which readers today know as Our State.

As I have explored Morton’s early career, I have looked at each issue of The State—page by page—from 1945 up to early 1963 (thus far).  I chose 1945 as the starting point because it marks Morton’s return from the South Pacific during World War II.  We have referred often in past blog posts to the Morton images that appeared in The State, and I’ve updated many images in the online collection as I’ve discovered them in the magazine.

Researching for the news photography exhibit, I jumped back to volume one, issue one, again looking at every page to see what I could learn about the magazine’s role in the development of news photography in North Carolina.  When I got to the 8 March 1941 issue, I saw what felt like a familiar Morton image on the cover, shown above.  The photograph is uncredited, so I searched the online Morton collection, but did not find it.  I then dove into the negatives for Grandfather Mountain . . . Bingo!

Read carefully the caption on the magazine cover.  Note again the date of the magazine, plus the leaves on the trees (and their tonalities) and the lack of snow!  All those clues suggest to me that Morton made this negative in the autumn of 1940 (or earlier) and not early March 1941.  If my deduction is correct, it’s one of Morton’s earliest published images.

This photograph also appears (again uncredited) in the 27 February 1943 issue of The State as an illustration to the article “Grandfather Mountain” written by Lula M. Weir.  In a prescient statement, Weir wrote “That the Grandfather-Linville area may be acquired for a state park someday is now regarded as a certainty.”  That “someday” did come true.  Grandfather Mountain officially became a state park in 2009.

The Madness of March: Two Championships Uniquely Remembered (Part Two)

This is part two of A View to Hugh contributor Jack Hilliard’s personal look back at two of Carolina’s NCAA basketball championships.  The Tar Heels championship aspirations for 2012 fell short, with a loss in its “Elite Eight” match-up against Kansas last week.  Thirty years ago today, the Tar Heel squad made it all the way to the top.

A dear coworker of mine, Bill Richards, passed away on March 18th while watching the Tar Heels play their “Sweet Sixteen” game against Creighton in the NCAA tournament.  In addition to being an avid UNC football and basketball fan, Bill was the senior digitization technician in the Carolina Digital Library and Archives.  His knowledge and skills with scanning technologies, Photoshop, and high-end inkjet printing were formidable, and he taught me most of what little (by comparison) that I know on those topics.  In 1982, Bill was the Chief Photographer for the Chapel Hill Newspaper,  In 1988, he began working as a photographer and graphic designer in the UNC Office of Sports information.  He began working in the Library Photographic Service  in 1998, but continued working for Sports information into the 2000s. This post is dedication to one of the best colleagues with whom I have ever worked.

1982 NCAA trophy and the UNC Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower

1982 NCAA trophy and the UNC Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower

Twenty five years after Frank McGuire’s 1957 miracle, the University of North Carolina was in position to win another NCAA championship.  Like the 1957 team, the 1982 team won 30 games going into the final four.  The only difference: the ’57 team hadn’t lost, while the ’82 team had lost twice.  Unlike 1957 championship game, however, Hugh Morton was there.

On the night of March 29, 1982 many Tar Heel fans will remember hearing Woody Durham, the voice of the Tar Heels, exclaim:

“The Tar Heels are going to win the National Championship.”

Those words triggered a Franklin Street celebration of epic proportions.  30,000 fans and alumni came out to celebrate.  The party had been 25 years in the making.  I recall working that night at WFMY-TV and we had our microwave truck on Franklin Street.  News 2 Anchor Sybil Robson reported as the celebration surrounded her.  It was good TV.  Eddie Marks, writing in the Greensboro Daily News, on March 30th described the celebration:

“Pandemonium, hysteria, fireworks and beer.  This is the stuff national championships are made of.”

The celebration finally ended about 4:00 a.m.

University of North Carolina men's basketball head coach Dean Smith on sidelines during Final Four, March 1982

University of North Carolina men's basketball head coach Dean Smith on sidelines, with Assistant Coach Roy Williams and Assistant Coach Eddie Fogler sitting on bench in background. (Cropped by the editor.)

The 1981-82 UNC Tar Heel team was head coach Dean Smith’s 21st team, and was his best to date. The semifinal win over Houston and the national championship victory over Coach John Thompson’s Georgetown Hoyas marked Smith’s 467th and 468th wins.  It was his first National Championship.  (Smith would go on to win a second NCAA championship in 1993 and would win a total 879 games before his retirement on October 9, 1997.)

Wide-angle shot of the Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, March 1982

Wide-angle shot of the Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, site of UNC's NCAA men's National Championship games, March 27-29, 1982

The 1982 NCAA final game was played before 61,612 fans in the Louisiana Superdome.  It was the 44th NCAA tournament final and it marked the first game to be televised by CBS Sports under a new NCAA contract.  That contract is still in effect, and CBS marks the 31st anniversary of NCAA championships this month. (NBC had carried the championship game since 1969.)  But on this night in ‘82 Gary Bender and Billy Packer brought the game to fans across the country.

With 32 seconds left and trailing by one, Coach Smith called a time out, set a play, and told Michael Jordan to “knock it down.”  Jordan did just that, providing the margin for the 63-62 victory.

University of North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball player Michael Jordan cutting basketball net after winning the 1982 NCAA championship.

University of North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball player Michael Jordan cutting basketball net after winning the 1982 NCAA championship.

Morton remembered the confusion after the game as the security folks tried to get Coach Smith and his team off the court.  Morton said Smith grabbed him by the arm and said, “Stick with me.”  He then turned to the security guard, pointed at Morton and said, “He’s with us.”  This provided Hugh Morton a unique opportunity for some fantastic pictures.

Former UNC Head Coach Frank McGuire (right) congratulates Head Coach Dean Smith after winning the 1982 NCAA championship.

Former UNC Head Coach Frank McGuire (right) congratulates Head Coach Dean Smith after winning the 1982 NCAA championship.

Frank McGuire was one of the first to congratulate Coach Smith and Morton got the shot.  In the aftermath of the victory hugs and smiles, there were some tears.  Georgetown All America Eric “Sleepy” Floyd could not hold back his emotions.  His 18-point effort simply had not been enough.  He congratulated his friend and fellow Gastonian Tar Heel All America James Worthy.  Again, Morton captured the emotion of the moment.

James Worthy and Eric "Sleepy" Floyd after the 1982 NCAA Championship game.

James Worthy and Eric "Sleepy" Floyd. Coach Dean Smith looks on. (P081_NTBR2_002047_22; cropped by editor.)

The headline in the Greensboro Daily News on Wednesday, March 31st described the Tar Heel Tuesday afternoon welcome back to Chapel Hill as a “Blue Frenzy.”  20,000 cheering fans packed the north side of Kenan Stadium long before the scheduled 3:00 p.m. celebration.  There were T-shirt vendors selling souvenirs from the back of station wagons parked at the Stadium gate.  A Franklin Street bakery was set up selling Carolina blue gingerbread men.

The official party began when “Voice of the Tar Heels” Woody Durham ran onto the field and yelled, “How ‘bout them Heels!”  Then the team bus arrived from Raleigh-Durham Airport and each team member spoke to the delight of the crowd.

As the homecoming celebration began to wrap up, Sky 2, Sky 5 and Chopper 11, helicopters from three of North Carolina’s TV stations jockeyed for position overhead, trying to get that perfect aerial crowd shot for the evening news.  That too was good TV.

The Madness of March: Two Championships Uniquely Remembered (Part One)

The “Sweet Sixteen” round of March Madness begins today, so  A View to Hugh contributor Jack Hilliard takes a personal look back at a very special time in Carolina basketball history—1957— in part one of a two-part series.  Part two will recall UNC’s 1982 championship.

Update on 3/28/2012: Working on part two today,  I discovered that I inadvertently omitted a dedication request by the author when I was constructing this post.  The post is dedicated to the 1957 team manager, Joel Fleishman,  who passed away earlier this month.  As a News-Record.com news brief put it, “Joel Fleishman was the manager of the 1957 North Carolina Tar Heels until the day he died.”

UNC men's basketball coach Frank McGuire posed with basketball hoop, net, and ball

UNC-Chapel Hill men’s basketball coach Frank McGuire posing with basketball hoop, net, and signed ball commemorating 1957 NCAA Championship win.

It was 55 years ago . . . March 23, 1957, that we heard this call from WPTF radio play-by-play announcer Jim Reid:

. . . we win 54 to 53.  North Carolina did it . . . Great day in the morning.

This radio broadcast has become a classic, but the television coverage of that championship game played a significant role in television sports history as well.

Friday, March 15, 1957 was career day at Asheboro High School.  Representing careers in television was Jack Markham a producer/director from WFMY-TV in Greensboro.  I remember how excited he was that his station was going to carry Carolina’s Eastern Regional game that night against Canisius from the Palestra in Philadelphia.  Many of us at Asheboro High had seen the ’57 Tar Heels when they came to town to play the McCrary Eagles in an exhibition game on December 1, 1956—a game that Carolina won but did not become part of the 32 and 0 season.

The day before, on March 14th, WFMY’s general manager Gaines Kelley had announced the station would follow Carolina in both its East regional games.  (In those days the first-round loser played a consolation game the next day.)  Said Kelley: “We at WFMY-TV are as proud of the Tar Heels as anybody else, and we are happy to be able to give fans in our coverage area a chance to see the game on live television.”  The Greensboro station had a special interest in carrying the UNC games because WFMY-TV produced the weekly Frank McGuire Show.

This regional NCAA network had been set up by station WPFH-TV in Wilmington, Delaware with Matt Koukas, a former Philadelphia Warrior NBA star, doing the play-by-play.  Of course the NCAA was in full control of the telecasts with their man, Castleman D. Chesley, leading the broadcast team.  Other North Carolina TV stations on the network included WBTV in Charlotte, and WTVD in Durham.

The undefeated Tar Heels were 28-0 and Coach Frank McGuire, upon arrival in Philadelphia, told the press, “This is a road club . . . winning 21 games on the road.”  The coach was then reminded that it was really only 20 road games.  McGuire added: “But I still count McCrary as a game because nobody can tell me that we didn’t have a really tough night down there in Asheboro.”

Road wins continued as the Tar Heels beat Canisius that Friday night and then beat Syracuse the following night.  It was on to Kansas City, Missouri for the final four (although it wasn’t called “The Final Four” in those days.)  Carolina was 30 and 0 going into Kansas City, but it hadn’t always been easy.  There had been close overtime games at South Carolina and Maryland—and then there was Murray Greason’s Wake Forest Demon Deacons.  The Tar Heels and Deacons had met four times during the 1956-57 season and each one had been close.  Two regular season games, a game in the Dixie Classic, and a two-point game in the ACC Tournament.  Coach Frank McGuire had great respect for Wake and he often spoke of it in interviews.

Before the games in Philadelphia started, C.D. Chesley was already working on a NCAA network for Kansas City.  On Wednesday, March 20, WFMY General Manager Kelley made another announcement.  Again Chesley had put together a network of five North Carolina TV stations for the games in Kansas City, and WFMY, WBTV, and WTVD would be a part of it.  He added that his Sports Director Charlie Harville and his Chief Photographer Buddy Moore would be traveling with the Tar Heels.  Kelley also liked to plug his game sponsors which were Carolina Steel, Guilford Dairy, and Security National Bank.

Hugh Morton didn’t travel to Kansas City for the championship weekend, but when he heard that the games were going to be on TV, and since the coverage area didn’t extend to the North Carolina coast, he and wife Julia headed to Raleigh, checked into the Sir Walter Hotel and watched the games there.

Both the National Semifinal with Michigan State and the National Final with 7-foot, 2-inch Wilt Chamberlain and Kansas in Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium turned out to be classics.  Triple overtimes each night, with UNC Center Joe Quigg hitting two foul shots with six seconds remaining in the final overtime against Dick Harp’s Kansas Jayhawks to win the National Championship. The telecast had some other memorable moments.  At halftime, WFMY-TV Sports Director Charlie Harville interviewed North Carolina Governor Luther Hodges, who predicted a Carolina win. Hodges had flown in along with his private secretary Ed Rankin, Lt. Governor Luther Barnhardt, and several other members of the NC legislature.  Their flight, on a DC-3 owned by Burlington Industries, left Raleigh-Durham Airport at nine o’clock on Saturday morning.  A police escort met the Governor’s party at the Mid-Continent International Airport and took them to a Tar Heel gathering at Hotel Continental in downtown Kansas City.  Then it was off to Municipal Auditorium where they joined 10,500 other fans.

Back in the WFMY-TV studios in Greensboro, staff announcer Lee Kinard, who had been with the station less than a year, prepared to do his live Guilford Dairy commercial.  Kinard recalls the sponsor wanted the commercial to feature ice cream, but under the hot TV lights, ice cream didn’t hold up very well, and since there were no TV-times-outs in those days, the Greensboro crew didn’t know when the commercial was going to come.  Said Kinard, “We kept putting out fresh ice cream and it just kept melting during those three overtimes.”

Lee Kinard would go on to become a legendary hall of fame broadcaster with a career spanning more than 45 years.

Following the broadcasts, both radio and TV, a celebration broke out on Franklin Street with thousands of students and alumni.

Chapel Hill author and historian Roland Giduz writing a special report for the Greensboro Daily News described what he saw along Franklin Street:

A zany bedlam enveloped this usually quiet college community shortly past the stroke of midnight…The celebration was the biggest in Chapel Hill since the night before—following the Tar Heels’ triple-overtime win over Michigan State.  And the latter was the wildest spontaneous rally local officials could recall since V-J night 12 years ago.

Crowd at Raleigh Durham Airport greeting the UNC men's basketball team after winning the NCAA championship.

Crowd at Raleigh Durham Airport awaiting the UNC men’s basketball team after winning the NCAA championship (P081_PRBP5_006878).

The celebration in Chapel Hill wasn’t close to the size of the one at Raleigh-Durham Airport.  About 2:10 p.m. on Sunday, March 24, 1957, Eastern Airlines Flight 527 was on final approach to RDU when the pilots got a message from the tower: “Go around while the police clear the runway.”  About 15,000 Tar Heel well-wishers had gathered to welcome the 32 and 0 Tar Heels home.  Among the 15,000 was photographer Hugh Morton with camera in hand.

UNC 1957 Basketball team deplaning at RDUAbout 15 minutes later the Lockheed Constellation carrying the victorious Tar Heels landed to thunderous cheers.  Coach McGuire and team captain Lennie Rosenbluth were not part of the celebration.  Rosenbluth was headed to New York as a member of the Look magazine All America team, which was scheduled to be on “The Ed Sullivan Show” that night. Coach McGuire had been on the “Sullivan Show” the Sunday before as the United Press national coach of the year.  This weekend he stayed in Kansas City to coach in the All-Star game with his old buddy, Navy Head Coach Ben Carnevale, as his assistant. (Carnevale was UNC’s Head Basketball Coach from 1944 to 1946.)  Rosenbluth was to fly back in time for the Monday night All-Star game.

In the middle of the crowd at RDU was UNC Chancellor Robert B. House who had a speech prepared, but wasn’t able to give it because of the noise.  About thirty minutes later, the Hodges’ group landed.  Said the Governor: “It was great but I don’t think I could take another game like that one.”

While Coach Frank McGuire was in Philadelphia for the Eastern Regional, he had received a special telegram from back home.  He read it to his team before the Eastern Regional final with Syracuse.  He then put it in his jacket pocket. He carried it with him to Kansas City and decided to read it again before the NCAA final game with Kansas.

The telegram read:

Best wishes and all the luck in the world.  You proved it to us; now prove it to the nation.

It was signed by each member of the Wake Forest basketball team, Head Coach Murray Greason and Assistant Coach Bones McKinney.  In the early morning hours of Sunday, March 24th, the victory bell in the old Wake Forest administration building rang out celebrating the Tar Heel win.

And, as for Jack Markham and that career day at ASH . . . well six years later Markham had risen to program director and production manager and in January of 1963 he hired a young UNC grad as a production assistant at WFMY-TV.  I would work there for 42 years.

For more photographs from the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives of the UNC 1956-1957 basketball season, visit the webpage McGuire’s Miracle.

Correction: on 13 June 2014, the type of plane that brought the UNC team to RDU was changed to “Lockheed Constellation,” which was previously described as a DC-7.  See http://pages.suddenlink.net/w4ydy/unc1957.html for color slides made at the event, which clearly show the aircraft.

Photographs from the 1942 Southern Conference Tournament

Today’s post is the third and final on the 1942 Southern Conference Basketball Tournament, which we have been featuring on its seventieth anniversary in conjunction with the fifty-ninth annual Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament taking place March 8th through 11th, 2012.

Some of the photographs shown below are not available in the online collection of Hugh Morton’s photographs at the time of this posting.  They will be added to the collection in the future.  Those images that are available in the collection can be seen without cropping by clicking on the image.

Many of the people portrayed in these photographs are unidentified.  If you can provide any identifications please leave a comment!

Duke bench during games versus Washington and Lee, March 5th, 1942.

Duke bench during game against Washington and Lee

Members of the Duke University men's basketball team and head coach Edmund "Eddie" Cameron seated on sideline. Labeled "For 2003 reprint book." A similar photograph of Cameron with different players appears in the March 6, 1942 issue of THE CHARLOTTE NEWS, so the event is likely the Southern Conference basketball tournament game versus Washington and Lee at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium played on March 5th.

UNC bench during game against Wake Forest, March 5th, 1942.

UNC bench during 1942 Southern Conference Tournament game against Wake Forest College

UNC men's basketball players and coach Bill Lange on sidelines during basketball game, probably 1942 Southern Conference tournament game versus Wake Forest at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, NC. (Identification of location based upon the above similar photograph of Duke's bench made from same vantage point.)

North Carolina Sate versus University of South Carolina, March 5th, 1942.

North Carolina State versus University of South Carolina game

Action from the North Carolina State versus University of South Carolina game, March 5th, 1942. (P081_NTBS3_006368)

College of William and Mary versus George Washington University, March 5th 1942.

William and Mary versus George Washington University

A struggle for possession during the William and Mary versus George Washington University opening round game played on March 5th 1942.

Bench photographs of unidentified teams, players, or coaches

William and Mary players and coach

William and Mary players and coach (P081_NTBS3_006370). Note the photographer (perhaps!) on the right side of the image, seated next to what looks to be a camera with mounted flash unit.


Unidentified team, 1942 Southern Tournament

Unidentified team and coach (P081_NTBS3_006371).

George Washington University players and coach during 1942 Southern Conference Tournament

George Washington University players and coach during 1942 Southern Conference Tournament (P081_NTBS3_006369).

Duke versus Wake Forest, March 6th, 1942.

Duke versus Wake Forest during 1942 Southern Conference Tournament

Scene from the Wake Forest College vs. Duke University game. Morton's photograph (cropped to show only three players on left) appears in the 8 March 1942 edition of the WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL AND SENTINEL with caption, "Gantt on the Lose—Big Bob Gantt, one of those five flaming Duke sophs, is shown here breaking down the court during the Wake Forest game Friday night. He had just taken the ball off the Wake backboard and is en route to his as Jim Bonds, deacon forward, partially blocks his way. Garland Loftis of Duke is the other player. Duke won 54–45."

 North Carolina State versus William and Mary, March 7th, 1942.

Weary Bones McKinney

This photograph captures Horace "Bones" McKinney on floor with towel during N.C. State University game versus William and Mary in the tournament semifinal. This photograph (or one made within a split second) is similarly cropped as it appeared in the CHARLOTTE NEWS with the caption, "WEARY BONES McKINNEY was glad to stretch out on the floor during a time out last night as his N. C. State ball club fought off a last-minute rally by William and Mary and came out with a 53-52 victory that sent the Terrors into the tourney title-round for the first time since it was moved to Raleigh in 1933." Click on the image to see the full negative.


McKinney hoists Carvalho

This Morton photograph appeared in the WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL AND SENTINEL with the caption “Clown Prince Gets Happy—Bones McKinney, tall N. C. State center, hoists Little Buckwheat Carvalho after the Terrors had beaten William and Mary in the semifinals of the conference tourney, 53-52. Bones was the top scorer in the loop this year with 300 points.” Little Buckwheat’s real first name was Paul. (P081_NTBS3_006374)

Championship game, Duke versus North Carolina State, March 7th, 1942.

Duke versus NCSU 1942 Southern Conference Tournament

Cropped view from the only surviving negative of an action shot made during the Duke versus North Carolina State championship game to be discovered thus far in the Morton Collection (P081_NTBS3_006375). The entire negative as shot can be seen below. See the previous blog post for Morton's published photograph of the Duke team and fans after receiving the tournament trophy.

Duke versus NCSU (not cropped)

1942 Southern Conference basketball tournament

University of South Carolina versus North Carolina State University, 1942 Southern Conference Tournament

Today’s post the first of a combined effort between Jack Hilliard and Stephen Fletcher to report on the 1942 Southern Conference Tournament, which coincides with this week’s Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.

UNC and WWII during the winter of 1942:  I’ve been living an on-again-off-again life in the winter of 1942 for some weeks now, researching images made by Hugh Morton before he enlisted in the United States Army in the early autumn later that year.  This double-life springs from the post marking the seventieth anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, which had a profound impact on the lives of Hugh Morton and his fellow students at UNC.  A few posts have examined Morton’s photographs depicting activities on campus related to America’s entrance into the second world war, especially those appearing in The Daily Tar Heel (DTH) student newspaper, for which Morton was the staff photographer.  The last post of this type focused on Eleanor Roosevelt’s visit to UNC on January 31st, 1942.

With the exception of one photograph (identified just this week) no Morton photographs depicting war related activities or subjects appeared in the DTH.  That photograph, an uncredited portrait of UNC business manager Livingston B. Rogerson in the February 15th issue, illustrated a front page article informing DTH readers that Rogerson was also serving as the Coordinator of the Office of Civilian Defense—a joint effort between the university and village of Chapel Hill.  Nearly all of Morton’s photographs published in the DTH during this period were sports photographs.

Basketball, 1942:  A blog post in early February 2012 on the day of UNC men’s basketball game against Duke included a minimally identified negative.  Investigations by two of our readers (thank you Jack and Jake!) led to more accurate identification for that image.  In one comment during the online deliberation, Jack Hilliard noted that the other, unidentified photograph (made on 11 February 1942 at Woollen Gym) was in the 1979 book The Winning Tradition: A Pictorial History of Carolina Basketball.  While I was looking for that photograph in the book, the above photograph on a different page caught my eye—or at least the author’s caption did:

This photograph is believed to be one of photographer Hugh Morton’s earliest action shots and captures all the excitement of Carolina basketball in the early 40s: a packed Woollen Gym, plenty of action underneath the boards and those crazy stripped [sic] socks.  There was, however, one problem—our editors searched high and low for the identification of the players but came up empty handed.

I both hate and love seeing captions like that!

One morning while preparing this week’s post, I took a peek into the beginning of the book Hugh Morton’s North Carolina.  On the first page, Morton stated that he had shot a lot of freelance work for the Charlotte News, especially sports, when he was a UNC student.  That made me wonder if the newspaper might have published a Morton photograph of the 1942 Southern Conference tournament played at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in early March.  Some of the identification work I had been doing had led me to discover some photographs I suspected may have been made during that tournament.

The newspaper did indeed publish a few Morton photographs during that weekend, including the photograph above.  For today’s featured photograph, here’s most of the caption written by the Charlotte News for the March 6th issue, which will immediately reveal why the The Winning Tradition editors couldn’t identify the UNC players:

IN A PRETTY GOOD STATE yesterday afternoon were the Terrors’ chance of winning a tourney title at Raleigh as they ousted South Carolina, 56-43.  Photographer Hugh Morton’s camera caught this glimpse of a basketball ballet under the State basket in the first half with Buck Cavalho and Strayhorn of State; Brogden, Dunham and Westmoreland of South Carolina and Bernie Mock of State in a graceful array. . . .”

The Red Terrors was one of several nicknames used by North Carolina State University athletic teams before Wolfpack, and the photograph depicts a scene from the opening round game played on March 5, 1942.

Tomorrow’s post: Jack Hilliard presents an historical background of the Southern Conference.